White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that the Senate Intelligence Committee will release a controversial report on the CIA's enhanced interrogation methods on Tuesday despite concerns raised by Secretary of State John Kerry, who echoed the sentiments of other critics.
"The administration has been for months preparing for the release of this report," Earnest told reporters Monday. "There are some indications that this - that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world. So the administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at U.S. facilities around the globe."
He added that the administration "strongly supports" the release of the declassified summary, which runs 480 pages (the report itself is about 6,000).
"The president believes that on principle, it's important to release that report so that people around the world and people here at home understand exactly what transpired. There are obviously going to be some limits about what can be said, given the classified nature of the program, but because of the scrupulous work of the committee and the administration and the intelligence community, in particular, we've declassified as much of that report as we can, and we want to be sure that we can release that report, be transparent about it and be clear about what American values are and be clear about the fact that the administration believes and that - in a way that's consistent with American values - that something like this should never happen again."
Last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry called and requested, but did not pressure, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, to hold off on releasing the report, sources told CBS News. They were concerned there might be backlash against U.S. personnel and facilities abroad.
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that Kerry was merely raising the ongoing issues that might be affected by the release of the report.
"He not only reiterated the support of the administration and his own support for the release of the report, but he also made clear that of course the timing is [Feinstein's] choice. The fact is there's quite a bit going on in the world, he wanted to have a discussion with a former colleague, somebody he worked with for decades in the Senate about foreign policy implications of the release of the report," Psaki said.
"He was simply having a discussion about the impact that the release will have on those factors," she said.
The State Department has said they asked all CIA chiefs of mission to review their security plans several months ago when they knew the report was going to be released, and reiterated those instructions again in recent days.
Some Republicans and former CIA officials have warned that the report could be dangerous for U.S. personnel serving abroad.
"Our foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said on CNN Sunday. "Foreign leaders have approached the government and said, 'You do this, this will cause violence and deaths.' Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths."
And former CIA Director Michael Hayden also said it could be damaging for the entire CIA workforce.
"First of all, the CIA workforce will feel as if it has been tried and convicted in absentia since the Senate Democrats and their staff didn't talk to anyone actively involved in the program. Second, this will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas," hesaid on CBS' "Face the Nation."